In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, "Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage." [Matthew 2:1-2, NRSV]
Maybe you don't identify with the story of the angel or the shepherds [see previous posts]. Perhaps it is the story of the Magi that fills your heart with joy. Those who identify most strongly with the Magi are people whom I call STAR GAZERS. I mean this in every good and wonderful sense of the word! Contrary to the popular hymn "We Three Kings" most of us realize that the Magi were not kings, but were astronomers and astrologers; followers of the stars. It is they who discerned Jesus birth from afar. It is they who undertook great personal sacrifice to reach him, crossing the desert, facing a menacing King Herod, and finally reaching their longed-for destination.
To me the Magi represent the faithful disciples of Jesus who have been following the light for quite some time. They are STAR GAZERS who sacrifice their time, talent, and treasure; giving their very best for the sake of the Christ Child. There are a number of us in the LGBT community who fall in this category. We have been faithful followers of Jesus, even when the church told us we were not welcome. We continued to serve as pastors, church musicians, and leaders in the church even if we had to do so quietly. Increasingly, however, our lights have been able to shine more brightly thanks to gay friendly churches and denominations such as the Episcopal Church, the United Church of Christ and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. If you identify strongly with the Magi, I hope you will continue to not only follow the light but also call the LGBT community to join us on the journey. It is one of the reasons why I write this blog.
If you identify most strongly with the Magi, I have good news for you as well: You are welcome at the manger, too! You, the faithful followers of the light, are welcome to join the outcast shepherds in hearing the angels' song, holding the Christ Child in your arms, and singing him a song fit for kings: "Oh, come, let us adore him. Oh, come, let us adore him. Oh, come, let us adore him, Christ the Lord!